Soccer-LAFC general manager hopes Bale move not just for World Cup

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - UEFA Nations League - Group D - Wales v Netherlands - Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, Britain - June 8, 2022 Wales' Gareth Bale applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

(Reuters) - Los Angeles FC General Manager John Thorrington said Gareth Bale's stint in Major League Soccer will be the ideal preparation for the World Cup but they want him to stick around beyond the finals in Qatar.

Bale, whose contract with LaLiga champions Real Madrid is due to end this summer, appeared to confirm the move in a post on Twitter on Saturday, writing, "See you soon, Los Angeles."

The 32-year-old led Wales to a first World Cup finals since 1958 earlier this month.

"It was never about six months just for the World Cup," Thorrington told reporters on Sunday after their 2-0 win over New York Red Bulls. "We always were talking about longer term than that.

"Gareth was very forthcoming with us about what he wanted, we had numerous calls with him, with his representatives directly. We got the sense that what he wants in preparation for the World Cup and beyond was exactly what we can offer ...

"Our definition of success and Gareth's are one in the same. So we're not going to do anything that's counterproductive to Gareth, performing well here will be the exact preparation he needs for a World Cup."

The secondary transfer window in the United States opens on July 7 and Thorrington hoped Bale could make his debut against local rivals LA Galaxy the following day.

"We still have to go through immigration, paperwork, things like that," Thorrington said.

"But we are hopeful that in the next week to 10 days we'll be able to take care of that... The first game he would potentially be available for would be the game we have here on July 8."

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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